When NJ‘s Congressional Correspondent Major Garrett makes New Year’s resolutions, he thinks big. This year he had the unique goal of reading James Joyce‘s Ulysses by June 16. He told C-SPAN2′s Book TV: “I started that on January 1st. It’s a New Year’s resolution of mine to plow through that by June 16, that’s Bloomsday. I don’t recommend it. It’s a classic. But it’s impenetrable — very hard to read, but I’ll get it done.”
The book is 265,000 words and divided into eighteen chaotic episodes — so not the easiest of tomes. Even the “Contents” section had us shuddering.
So did Garrett get it done?
“I finished it at 7 am June 17,” he told FBDC. “I woke up at 3 am to finish the task…so it might have been Bloomsday in Polynesian, but on my own clock I failed. The book tormented me throughout but, oddly, I miss it. I’m not hunting podcasts and internet blogs to help me comprehend the incomprehensible. I’m glad I did it – if for no other reason I didn’t give up.”
Watch Book TV’s Summer Reading feature with Garrett here.